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Activity title

Enabling Technical Considerations for a NATO-Common Space Domain Operating Picture

Activity Reference



Systems Concepts and Integration

Security Classification



Awaiting Publication

Activity type


Start date


End date



attribution, big data, collision, Common Operating Picture, conjunction, cyber, data fusion, debris, geolocation, integration, RF interference, satellite, SDA, sensors, Space, space domain awareness, space object, space situational awareness, space traffic, space weather, SSA, weather


Comprehensive space domain awareness, SDA, is a foundational element enabling the achievement of the NATO Long Term Aspect (LTA) for NATO Space Capability Preservation (as identified by SCI-238-SM, March 2013). To ensure that NATO forces, space planners and operators maximize deployment and protection of space capabilities brought to the Alliance by its member nations, a shared common picture of the space domain is essential (within the limits of those members to share and contribute space domain awareness data and products). Due to the multi-dimensional technical scope of space domain awareness data and product streams along with associated variations in data protocols, sensor attributes and other variables it will be necessary to evolve a common integrated environment within the NATO space planning and operations domains to ensure timely exploitation of those data and products. Although no limits are placed upon what constitutes space domain awareness data or products, it is anticipated to initially address at a minimum, space weather and environmental reporting, space object tracking and orbit characterization, space object collision and avoidance warning, and radio frequency interference characterizations and attribution against satellite control links and communication services. This activity is intended to explore the technical boundary conditions and anticipated fundamental enabling technical considerations (requirements) for developing and evolving the capacity within NATO to achieve a NATO space domain picture for the purpose of identifying necessary technical research and development investments and collaborations within NATO as well as initiating and informing a dialog within the NATO leadership and operational planners on the nature and anticipated future need within NATO for space domain awareness capabilities. Due to the sensitive considerations associated with sharing of sovereign space asset health and status information as well as hostile space order of battle and status within the Alliance, inclusion of those topics as part of a NATO-common space domain operational picture are not anticipated to be addressable for the foreseeable future.


The objectives of this task group are to: • Develop an initial vision and associated boundary conditions for a future NATO-common space domain operational picture capability • Identify and characterize the anticipated necessary and enabling concepts and architectural elements for enabling discoverability of, accessing and integrating space domain data and product streams (sourced internal and external to the Alliance) into a common operational picture • Identify, characterize and evaluate the developmental status of the analytical tools, methods, techniques necessary to enable common processing and interpretation of space domain data and products across the NATO operational enterprise • Identify and characterize the necessary interfaces with NATO information networks and cyberspace to include consideration of data and product integrity, assurance and protection/security. • Identify and characterize the anticipated technical requirements for NATO end-users’ effective and efficient exploitation of space domain awareness data and products including tradecraft/operational art reinforced through education, training and exercise.


The major technical topics of the activity are: 1. Data, information and product transport, processing and integration/fusion technology 2. Cyber security and information assurance and integrity 3. Human factors consideration in multi-disciplinary operational fusion environments 4. Component technical domains of space object traffic management, RF interference in space, space weather 5. Decision support visualization, tools and processes 6. Space planning and integration into military operational art and tradecraft

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